As temperatures cool, the battle between Delta and vaccines moves into a new field: indoors.

It’s that time. Also.

The leaves are spinning, the air is crispy, and people are wondering exactly what they can do inside without getting a COVID.

Vaccinations and the public in the coming weeks as many children return to face-to-face schools, more adults abandon park hangouts for gatherings in the park, and thanksgiving gatherings are imminent. Ready to test the protection limits of hygiene restrictions.

Gaze at the winter barrel of the second pandemic, gaining skills and knowledge not available at this time of last year when Ontario was hit by a tough second wave.

This time, more than 7 out of 10 people in Ontario rolled up their sleeves for a COVID shot. There is less focus on wiping all available surfaces as the idea that the virus can spread through droplets in the air becomes more widely recognized.

That said, the new twist means we’re still unsatisfied — viruses are more easily transmitted internally, especially the Delta variant. Ontarian warns that delays in vaccination and loosening of public health regulations could jeopardize the health care system, just by looking at Alberta, the state that holds almost half of the country’s active cases. You can hear the story.

Given all the moving parts here, important questions remain about what will happen in the coming weeks.

“Delta is a game changer,” says Dr. Peter Juni, director of the COVID-19 Science Table in Ontario.

“But of course, vaccines are also game changers.”

The data suggests a set of options that reflect that uncertainty, says Juni. According to a new modeling released by the Science Table this week, if current infection rates remain unchanged, Ontario could have about 1,500 cases per day by the end of October.

However, the projection recognizes a significant amount of gray areas. With a 25% increase in submissions, the number of cases could exceed 5,000 per day. However, the spread of the virus can be reduced at the same rate, in which case Ontario can be reduced to hundreds per day.

One of the greatest indicators of virus epidemic is mobility, the time people spend in close contact with others who may share aerosols outside their homes.

However, according to a paper published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal in April, people tend to engage in relatively low-risk outdoor activities, such as indoor shopping and dining, which is necessary to spread the disease. The movement rate is said to be low. ..

Delta, which is currently predominant in Ontario, is more likely to spread due to high viral load. This means that infected people have 5 to 1,000 times more virus particles covering the upper respiratory tract and can cough others.

People infected with Delta get infected 1-2 days earlier than those who catch other strains. So it’s especially important to catch their cases early, says Juni.

The important point here is that you are not necessarily in contact with the virus in question, but how much you consume. How to improve their air quality.

“I don’t know exactly what it is, but there is a critical amount of airborne particles that infect people,” she says. Therefore, the point of filtration is to filter out the virus or mix in enough outside air to dilute the concentration of virus particles.

Dr. Keeran Moore told reporters Thursday that the state is in the process of making official recommendations for indoor meetings, medical officer Dr. Keeran Moore said.

But in the meantime, he said everyone should be screened for symptoms of COVID and that high-risk or high-risk contacts should be considered at home. If the group is a mixture of vaccinated and non-vaccinated, masking is also appropriate, he said.

The government has also promised $ 600 million to improve school ventilation, including adding highly efficient HEPA filter units to classrooms, gymnasiums, libraries and other spaces without mechanical ventilation.

Jeffrey Siegel, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Toronto who studies ventilation and indoor air quality, said he didn’t immediately understand that companies and organizations could have transmissions in the air. I’m dissatisfied. It also plagues him that the government is not working to provide information and guidance on how to prevent the spread indoors.

“I felt like I had regained my time machine several times this year before or early in the pandemic.”

As with many pandemics, critics say that the lack of official guidance means that much of this is determined at the individual level.

“We are dealing with this very complex situation where workplaces and schools can deal with what is happening within the boundaries of their buildings, but in wider situations they do not necessarily have so much control. Not, “he says.

For example, businesses may have taken all appropriate precautions, but their staff may still be arriving on public transport. Employees may have to work in several workplaces. Or students may come from multi-generational homes, says Siegel.

“There are as many stories as individuals, so I think it’s really hard to find a way to go through them.”

He is optimistic that Ontario will overcome this wave without overwhelming big spikes and systems, but again burdens those who inevitably or advocate better conditions in the most vulnerable and poorly ventilated indoor spaces. increase.

Levitzki, a part-time lecturer at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, uses the “Swiss cheese” model of COVID prevention. That is, a small amount of coronavirus may be able to sneak through most of the holes in your defense, but if you adopt some, you’ll be better.

Therefore, vaccination and ventilation are important, but she argues that proper masking and social distance cannot be completely relaxed.

Pumpkin spice latte and hot apple cider have already been poured into Bridgehead coffee shops scattered throughout Ottawa. Staff are wondering when cold weather will remove people from the patio and bring them back in.

“Autumn and spring are our busiest times,” says Chief Operating Officer Kate Burnett. “Extreme cold and extreme heat have a negative effect on us, but people love to go out and it’s like the weather between 10 and 20 degrees Celsius. That’s our jam.”

The team back inside wants to continue the course and maintain the COVID protocol that they have been implementing for over a year.

The state’s vaccine mission has helped staff make it more comfortable to return customers to their space, although the distance between the Plexiglas screen and the chair remains.

“We are cautiously optimistic,” says Burnett. “Keeping up with public health regulations is not rocket science.”

As temperatures cool, the battle between Delta and vaccines moves into a new field: indoors.

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